As the push for increased diversity and better representation of minorities continues in the movie industry, one must identify and pay respect to those who have contributed to this noble struggle. A good example in this regard is the Nikita star, Maggie Q.
An American actress of Pan Asian origins, Q first had to move to Asia (namely Japan, Taiwan, and then Hong Kong) to break into the showbiz industry. She subsequently returned to her homeland and has established herself as a formidable TV and movie star, featuring in projects such as Mission: Impossible III, Live Free or Die Hard, Nikita, and Divergent.
Since then, Q has extended her repertoire to the business world. She has also leveraged on her star appeal to promote issues that are close to her heart, from animal rights protection to protecting the environment and healthy eating habits.
Emergence as a Top Model and Actress in Hong Kong
While growing up, Maggie Q (Margaret Denise Quigley) never really aspired to go into showbiz. She rather loved sports (track, cross country, and swimming) and excelled in it so much that she earned an athletic scholarship to college. The young Maggie hoped to study veterinary medicine but could not proceed due to the paucity of funds. She, therefore, decided to pursue other avenues to save up for college. Q initially ventured into modeling, without much success.
She surmised that this may be due to her Asian looks and so decided to relocate to Tokyo, Japan to see if she could make headway. On her arrival in 1997, Q still found it difficult landing runway gigs because she was short. She thus moved to Taiwan and later on, Hong Kong, where luck found her. In Hong Kong, Q got to work in commercials as well as pull off photoshoots. She also changed her surname to Q so that her Chinese audience could easily pronounce it.
The young lady spent the next several years modeling, and appeared on the Asian version of magazines such as Time, Marie Claire, Elle, Cosmopolitan, and Harper’s Bazar. She also auditioned for acting roles on the side and got a breakthrough when she was selected by a company founded by Jackie Chan to groom future action stars. The Hawaii native underwent months of training and started landing movie roles. Her first onscreen work was in 1998 in the popular Asian drama, House of the Dragon.
Roles That Made Her a Mainstream Actress in Hollywood
Following the overwhelming success of House of the Dragon, Maggie Q went on to feature in other well-received projects such as Model from Hell, Gen-Y Cops, Naked Weapon, and House of Harmony. She became quite popular throughout Asia and Hollywood finally took notice of her increasing fame. They came calling with roles for her and she co-starred alongside Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible III in 2006.
Since then, Q has gone on to appear in several popular TV series and movies. On the big screens, she has appeared in films such as Live Free or Die Hard, The Divergent franchise, and Fantasy Island, etc. Live Free or Die Hard is a 2007 action thriller about an NYPD detective, John McClane, on a mission to stop a bunch of cyberterrorists. The movie featured Bruce Willis in the lead role while Q portrayed one of the head honchos for the cyber-terrorist group named Mai Linh. Her kickass fighting skills as well as poise automatically made her stand out in the project.
Also, Maggie Q has appeared in TV series such as Designated Survivor, Stalker, and Nikita. In Nikita, Q played the titular role of a rogue secret agent who works to bring down the clandestine government organization she formerly worked for. Nikita was an adaptation of a French series of the same name and ran for four seasons during which it attracted massive viewership. Q also received praise for her excellent leading performance and it remains one of the most popular roles of her career.
A Look at Maggie Q’s Multi-Ethnic Family Origins
Nikita’s dad is part-Irish and part-Polish while her mom is from Vietnam. Her parents met during the Vietnam War when her father was stationed there. They fell in love and subsequently got married. They later welcomed Q and her two older siblings.
Before Maggie’s mom married her dad, she was previously married to another man with whom she had two children. Thus, the actress is the youngest of all five children her mother bore. She remains close to every member of her family and visits them every chance she gets. The actress also looks out for their welfare and health and has converted them to her plant-based diet.
The Actress Almost Started a Family With Dylan McDermott
Maggie Q has never been married but she has been in some notable romantic relationships. Back in 2009, she dated a businessman named Paul Alfonso but the romance ended after a year.
Fast-forward to 2014, Q commenced a relationship with fellow actor, Dylan McDermott. McDermott is an award-winning actor, who is known for movies and TV shows such as Steel Magnolias, American Horror Story, and The Practice; the pair first met on the set of the short-lived TV series, Stalker, in 2014. It was love at first sight for them and they thereafter began a relationship.
The couple dated for four months before getting engaged in January 2015.
Following their engagement, they remained together for about four more years during which they gushed about each other. McDermott described his girl as a beautiful and incredible person while she stated that meeting him had convinced her to give marriage a chance. That marriage however failed to materialize as the couple broke up in February 2019. They gave no details for what caused the split and have maintained that taciturn nature since then.
The Chance Encounter That Made Her Turn Vegetarian
Maggie Q is one lady who wears several hats and one of them is an animal rights activist. The Nikita star had always been an animal lover, hence her ambition to become a veterinarian, but she grew up eating various types of animal proteins.
She however realized how harmful her eating habits were to animals and the earth during a chance encounter with a PETA representative in 1998.
Having seen the cruelty meted out to animals for the sake of fashion and food, as well as the impact it had on the environment, Q felt quite sick and quit consuming meat. Ten years down the line, she effectively began eliminating all animal products from her diet. The Nikita star now pursues a plant-based diet and has credited it with making her feel better and have more energy.
Maggie Q’s Fierce Love and Campaign for Animal Rights
Q has consequently become a passionate advocate for animal welfare. She works with organizations such as PETA and has featured in their Ads urging people to stop practices that are harmful to animals. She has also lent her support to other similar organizations such as Save The Elephants, WildAid, African Wildlife Foundation, and Best Friends Animal Society. The actress also uses her social media accounts to promote animal rights.
In furtherance of her passion for animal welfare and wellness, Q has set up two enterprises – ActivatedYou and Qeep Up. ActivatedYou is a plant-based supplement brand that is designed to help the body achieve its natural state of vibrant health while Qeep Up is an athleisure line that makes it clothes entirely from recycled ocean waste. Part of the proceeds from the line goes to the Blue Sphere Foundation which protects endangered marine species and habitat.